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Tony Bennett dead at 96: Mariah Carey, Billy Joel and Nile

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Tributes have flooded in for Tony Bennett after he passed away on Friday.

The singing legend, who collaborated with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga, died just two weeks short of his 97th birthday.

Following his passing, tributes flooded in for the music legend after his publicist Sylvia Weiner revealed he died in his hometown of New York and while No cause of death was given, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

Leading the tributes was fellow music legend Billy Joel, who shared a trio of snaps from one of their shows together.

He captioned the post: ‘Tony Bennett was the one of the most important interpreters of American popular song during the mid to late 20th century. 

Tragedy: Tributes have flooded in for Tony Bennett after the legendary crooner passed away on Friday

Tragedy: Tributes have flooded in for Tony Bennett after the legendary crooner passed away on Friday

Icons: Leading the tributes was fellow music legend Billy Joel, who shared a trio of snaps from one of their shows together (pictured in 2002)

Icons: Leading the tributes was fellow music legend Billy Joel, who shared a trio of snaps from one of their shows together (pictured in 2002)

‘He championed songwriters who might otherwise have remained unknown to many millions of music fans.

‘His was a unique voice that made the transition from the era of Jazz into the age of Pop. 

‘I will always be grateful for his outstanding contribution to the art of contemporary music. He was a joy to work with. His energy and enthusiasm for the material he was performing was infectious. He was also one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known.’

Mariah Carey also shared a collection of images from her performances with Tony, writing: ‘Rest in Peace Tony Bennett. It was such an honor to work with one of the world’s most beloved, respected and legendary singers of the past century. We will miss you.’

Brooke Shields, who shared a photo and wrote: ‘You will be forever missed, Tony. Your legacy will live on forever, not just for your music, but for your painting and for your heart. I adore you. May you rest easy.’

Chic legend Nile Rodgers, posted his own and penned: ‘My most heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends. They’re also my emotional family and friends’. 

Michael Buble shared a lengthy message on Twitter, writing: ‘Tony Bennett is one of the greatest vocalists, storytellers and interpreters of all time. To say he was an important part of who I became is an understatement. 

‘My grandpa was constantly playing Tony Bennett records when I was growing up, and it was the honor of a lifetime to learn from him. 

Legendary: In his caption, Billy lauded Tony as a 'unique voice' and 'a joy to work with'

Legendary: In his caption, Billy lauded Tony as a ‘unique voice’ and ‘a joy to work with’

Emotional: Mariah Carey also shared images from her performances with Tony, writing: 'It was such an honor to work with one of the world's most beloved, respected and legendary singers of the past century'

Emotional: Mariah Carey also shared images from her performances with Tony, writing: ‘It was such an honor to work with one of the world’s most beloved, respected and legendary singers of the past century’

Heartfelt: Among those to pay tribute was Brooke Shields, who shared a photo and wrote: 'You will be forever missed, Tony. Your legacy will live on forever'

Heartfelt: Among those to pay tribute was Brooke Shields, who shared a photo and wrote: ‘You will be forever missed, Tony. Your legacy will live on forever’

She continued: 'Not just for your music, but for your painting and for your heart. I adore you. May you rest easy'

She continued: ‘Not just for your music, but for your painting and for your heart. I adore you. May you rest easy’

Reaching out: Chic legend Nile Rodgers, who penned: 'My most heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends. They’re also my emotional family and friends'.

Reaching out: Chic legend Nile Rodgers, who penned: ‘My most heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends. They’re also my emotional family and friends’.

Condolences: Singer Nile Rodgers marked Tony's passing

Condolences: Singer Nile Rodgers marked Tony’s passing

Throwback: Singer Michael Buble shared an image of himself alongside Tony, admitting he 'never stopped learning from him'

Throwback: Singer Michael Buble shared an image of himself alongside Tony, admitting he ‘never stopped learning from him’

RIP: Alongside a snap of them together, American actor Chazz Palminteri shared a message

RIP: Alongside a snap of them together, American actor Chazz Palminteri shared a message

‘Having my hero take me under his wing was one of the greatest moments of my life and my career. How did I get so lucky to kneel at the feet of the master for 2 decades?’

‘Tony, I’ll never stop learning from you, and I promise you I’ll do my best to keep the music we cherish alive. I love you. 

Star Trek legend George Takei penned: ‘The great Tony Bennett has passed away at the age of 96… 

‘He was the last of his kind, a master of the American songbook. He may have left his Heart in San Francisco, but he won all of our hearts, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. Be at peace, and sing to us now from the stars, Tony.’

Tony warmed up for Red Hot Chilli Peppers at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards and in the wake of the performance star of the band Flea paid tribute. 

He wrote: ‘i love the immortal Tony Bennett, what a dude, what a class act, what a singer. so grateful to have shared a stage with him. a beautiful human being.’

Nile Rodgers penned: ‘My most heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends. They’re also my emotional family and friends.’ 

Alongside a snap of them together, American actor Chazz Palminteri shared: ‘Tony Bennett has lived a life we all dream of. He was a beautiful man and a voice for the ages. Rest In Peace My friend.’

Moving: Actor Alec Baldwin also paid tribute to Tony in a touching Instagram video, recalling the times they worked together

Moving: Actor Alec Baldwin also paid tribute to Tony in a touching Instagram video, recalling the times they worked together

Looking bak: Alec went on to talk about working with tony on Saturday Night Live, which he described as 'truly one of the greatest moments of my life' (pictured in 2016)

Looking bak: Alec went on to talk about working with tony on Saturday Night Live, which he described as ‘truly one of the greatest moments of my life’ (pictured in 2016)

Actor Alec Baldwin also paid tribute to Tony in a touching Instagram video, recalling the times they worked together. 

Everybody loved Tony. Everybody loved Tony. He was a helluva guy. His music meant so much to me. 

You look at someone like him, it’s hard to say this but it’s true: There will never be someone like him again.

Alec went on to talk about working with tony on Saturday Night Live, which he described as ‘truly one of the greatest moments of my life’. 

Mayor of New York City Eric Adams tweeted: ‘A working class kid from Queens, Tony Bennett sang our song to the world. Don’t let the lyrics fool you – he left is heart right here in New York City. May he rest in peace.’

American former professional basketball player Rex Chapman wrote: ‘Tony Bennett has passed away at the age of 96. An incredible life. Rest in peace’. 

The legendary hitmaker battled his Alzheimer’s privately for five years before revealing the condition to his fans in 2021.

Following his diagnosis, Bennett continued performing and even released a new album with his close friend and collaborator Lady Gaga in September 2021.

In April, Bennett was seen in New York City in a wheelchair in what is understood to have been one of his last public appearances before his passing.

The last of the great saloon singers of the mid-20th century, Bennett often said his lifelong ambition was to create ‘a hit catalog rather than hit records.

During his lifetime, he released more than 70 albums and earned 19 Grammys Awards – all but two after he reached his 60s – and enjoyed the adoration of millions of fans across the world.

Bennett didn´t tell his own story when performing; he let the music speak instead – the Gershwins and Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern.

Unlike his friend and mentor Sinatra, he would interpret a song rather than embody it.

If his singing and public life lacked the high drama of Sinatra’s, Bennett appealed with an easy, courtly manner and an uncommonly rich and durable voice.

Starring role: Following his diagnosis, Bennett continued performing and even released a new album with his close friend and collaborator Lady Gaga in September 2021

Starring role: Following his diagnosis, Bennett continued performing and even released a new album with his close friend and collaborator Lady Gaga in September 2021

During his career, Bennett collaborated with a host of famous faces, from Rosemary Clooney (pictured) to Liza Minelli

During his career, Bennett collaborated with a host of famous faces, from Rosemary Clooney to Liza Minelli (pictured)

During his career, Bennett collaborated with a host of famous faces, from Rosemary Clooney (left) to Liza Minelli (right)

‘A tenor who sings like a baritone,’ he called himself, a skill that made him a master of caressing a ballad or brightening an up-tempo number.

‘I enjoy entertaining the audience, making them forget their problems,’ he told The Associated Press in 2006. ‘I think people … are touched if they hear something that´s sincere and honest and maybe has a little sense of humor. … I just like to make people feel good when I perform.’

Bennett was praised often by his peers, but never more meaningfully than by what Sinatra said in a 1965 Life magazine interview: ‘For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business. He excites me when I watch him…

‘He moves me. He´s the singer who gets across what the composer has in mind, and probably a little more.’

He not only survived the rise of rock music but endured so long and so well that he gained new fans and collaborators, some young enough to be his grandchildren.

In 2014, at age 88, Bennett broke his own record as the oldest living performer with a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart for ‘Cheek to Cheek,’ his duets project with Lady Gaga.

Three years earlier, he topped the charts with ‘Duets II,’ featuring such contemporary stars as Gaga, Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse, in her last studio recording.

Perhaps his most famous collaboration was with his close friend Lady Gaga, with whom he worked on multiple occasions, with the pair releasing an album together in September 2021

Perhaps his most famous collaboration was with his close friend Lady Gaga, with whom he worked on multiple occasions, with the pair releasing an album together in September 2021

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